Summer is such a good time, especially since it’s so short. I enjoy spending as much time outside as I can. We get to play outside, hang out and enjoy God’s creation, which includes each other. Sometimes when it comes to matters of faith we get the idea that it has to be all serious and dour, that we can’t grow in faith while having fun, laughing and enjoying things. I don’t think that’s true at all. Laughter and fun adds a powerful dimension to our lives.
We often associate summer with recreation. Did you notice that recreation and Re-Creation are spelled exactly the same? I’d suggest one of the ways God works the miracle of new life in us is in and through recreation – through play, whether its golf, fishing, gardening or any of the other things we do this time of year. As we enjoy and participate in God’s creation we can be reconnected with it and become re-created ourselves.
Recreation and re-creation of course is not just for us or about us. It is also something we get to share. We receive and we give. Either one alone can feel lopsided. If we just receive we can become self absorbed. If we only give we can start to feel empty. We need to do both in order to have a balance.
One of the ways God brings about re-creation in us is when we serve others whether it’s in foodpacks, bringing food or working at our SOS food pantry or serving with our partners at Cross in Milwaukee, teaching children and helping them grow in faith and love. The important aspect of all these things is to avoid a sense of obligation or duty. These are not things we are required to do. They are what we get to do.
God wants us to have fun. God wants us to laugh, to feel joy, to get excited, to play. It helps us put things in perspective, that life is not all about work or cleaning; it’s not all drudgery and chores. Life is intended to be enjoyed. All the ways we serve are intended to bring us meaning and purpose, to give us back more than we put in. And that is the miracle of being re-created. We are transformed, set free and filled with amazing power as we feel God’s love flowing through us.
This summer enjoy time away and wait for God to speak to you as you enjoy God’s creation. Find time and ways to serve others too and expect God to speak to you there. It’s not either or. For a full life we need to give AND get. As we do we get to experience re-creation.
May God bring you a taste of new life as you play and serve.